- Title: Murray says he's motivated for French Open after "difficult" start to 2017
- Date: 24th May 2017
- Summary: LA DEFENSE, FRANCE (MAY 24, 2017) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** CHAMPS-ELYSEES AVENUE ARC DE TRIOMPHE MONUMENT BRITISH TENNIS PLAYER AND WORLD NUMBER ONE, ANDY MURRAY, STANDING WITH ARMS FOLDED NEXT TO FRENCH JUDO CHAMPION, TEDDY RINER, AS THEY POSE FOR PHOTOS MURRAY RINER AND MURRAY EXCHANGING TENNIS RACKET AND JUDO OUTFIT / RINER WAVING RACKET POSTER FOR MURRAY MURRAY ARRIVING AT NEWS BRIEFING, RINER SITTING (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH TENNIS PLAYER AND WORLD NUMBER ONE, ANDY MURRAY, SAYING: "Yeah, the last few months have been difficult for sure. I haven't played so well and I also had a few physical issues with my elbow in February-March time so it's been a difficult few months but you know over the last seven, eight years of my career I always wanted to perform my best and play my best tennis at the grand slams and that's still the case now. And I always, I always feel extra motivation when I come to a slam even if I've been playing badly." NEWS BRIEFING IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH TENNIS PLAYER AND WORLD NUMBER ONE, ANDY MURRAY, SAYING: (IN RESPONSE TO QUESTION IF IT'S MOST DIFFICULT MOMENT OF HIS CAREER) "No, I'm ranked number one in the world so I've been in worst positions than this. When I had my back surgery it was very difficult for me, there were times when I was younger when I was struggling a lot more than now. But for sure, the last few months have been difficult but I believe I'll turn it around and I hope it starts here in Paris." JOURNALIST ASKING QUESTION (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH TENNIS PLAYER AND WORLD NUMBER ONE, ANDY MURRAY, SAYING: "(Tennis players) Roger (Federer) and Rafa (Nadal) both had quite serious injuries last year but both of them have come back extremely well this year. The way tennis has been going the last 10-12 years or so, it has looked like players are starting to play better as they get older, which wasn't the case in the past. But I would say it is a bit surprising. I'm sure that will start to change soon. I'm sure the younger players will break through very shortly, but hopefully I still have a few more years in that top few spots in the rankings." POSTER OF RINER (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH JUDO CHAMPION, TEDDY RINER, SAYING: "Yes, I want to say that we are confident (over the Paris 2024 candidacy) except that, as with all decisions at an international level, you never know how things will play out. Us sportsmen and women have worked on a great candidacy, I think we worked on a great candidacy. We are proud of getting the authorisation of politicians and those above us to agree to the candidacy we've put through; it's extraordinary." MURRAY POSING FOR PHOTOS WITH ARMS FOLDED RINER POSING FOR PHOTOS WITH ARMS FOLDED MURRAY SHAKING RINER'S HAND / LOOKING AT VIEW AND LAUGHING RINER POSING FOR PHOTOS
- Embargoed: 7th June 2017 20:05
- Keywords: Paris Roland Garros French Open tennis Teddy Riner Andy Murray
- Location: LA DEFENSE, FRANCE
- City: LA DEFENSE, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Sport,Tennis
- Reuters ID: LVA0016I795Q7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Andy Murray, who has suffered a dip in form this year, admitted on Wednesday (May 24) it had been a "difficult" start to 2017 but that he was motivated for the upcoming French Open.
Appearing at a promotional event in Paris with French Olympic judo champion Teddy Riner, who has dominated the men's +100kg category of his sport for years, Murray told reporters he had been "playing badly" over the first few months of the year and that he had had some problems with his elbow early in the year.
With the French Open starting on Sunday (May 28), Murray looks a pale imitation of the player who won his last 24 matches of 2016 to knock Novak Djokovic off his pedestal and seize power in men's tennis.
Not since Pete Sampras in 1999 has a world number one had a worse start to a year with Murray's win percentage at a fairly modest 70.8 percent.
But, in response to a journalist's question, Murray said it was far from being the most difficult period of his career.
With Murray turning 30 earlier this month, the top five male tennis players in the world are now 30 or over.
Murray said it was "surprising" that no younger players had broken through to the top but said he expected the next generation of tennis greats to break through soon.
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